What's the Cheapest City in South Carolina?

June 21, 2018

Myrtle Beach SC

Charleston has gorgeous homes, deep history, fantastic food, and water everywhere. The only problem is that living there can be expensive. So what should you do if you want that South Carolina charm for discount rates?

We found five cities in South Carolina where life is good, the cost of living is low, and car insurance is relatively affordable. Cheap auto insurance in South Carolina isn’t always easy to find, but Compare.com can help you get the best deal when you compare personalized quotes. Try it now to see what your best rate looks like!

Five of the Cheapest Places to Live in South Carolina

5. Greenville, SC

If you live in Greenville, you might start your Sunday with a Brunch Burger from GB&D (a burger with bacon, egg, cheese, coffee butter and a fried doughnut) and then spend the afternoon working it off by walking or riding the Swamp Rabbit Trail. This small city, less than an hour from Spartanburg, offers abundant green space, great restaurants and fascinating museums. It’s also one of the most affordable places to live in South Carolina.

We ran the numbers on Compare.com for a 27-year-old Greenville driver with a five-year-old Honda Fit and a clean driving record. She got quotes ranging from $201 to $317 per month for Basic coverage, when she opted to pay her premiums up front instead of month-to-month. (See the huge range in prices? That’s why it pays to compare!)

Basic coverage meets the South Carolina state minimum requirements (25/50/25 bodily injury and property damage liability, with matching limits for uninsured/uninsured motorist coverage) plus comprehensive and collision.

4. Myrtle Beach, SC

Have you always dreamed of living by the ocean? We have, too — but seaside towns like Isle of Palms and Hilton Head Island have a cost of living that is, unfortunately, a few notches above average. So why not move to Myrtle Beach? People love to hate MB’s sunburned tourists, cheesy bars and tacky attractions, but it’s a relatively affordable place to live in SC. Also, the beach is all yours in the off season! If crowds and traffic make you shudder, consider living in one of the quieter towns in the metro area, like North Myrtle Beach or Surfside Beach.

In Myrtle Beach, our sample driver’s car insurance quotes ranged from $206 to $232 per month (paid up front).

3. Columbia, SC

If you move to Columbia, you’d better become a Gamecocks fan. Football games at the University of South Carolina are one of the top attractions in Columbia, where tailgating has been elevated to a culinary art. Seriously: you might see ice sculptures, huge tents, even a customized caboose called the “Cockaboose.” Beyond football season, there’s lots to see and do: the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden, Saluda Shoals Park, and the Columbia Museum of Art are all worth a visit.

  • Median house price in Columbia, 2018: $123,900
  • Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $807
  • Cost of living index for Columbia: About 89 percent of the U.S. averageIn Columbia, our 27-year-old driver got quotes ranging from $207 to $271 per month for Basic coverage.

2. Spartanburg, SC

Spartanburg, a city of around 40,000 people in the foothills of northern South Carolina, is a laid-back town that’s one of the best places to live in South Carolina for outdoorsy folks. Just south of town is Croft State Park, which has 12 miles of trails crossing 7,000 acres, and the Blue Ridge Mountains beckon to the west. Cyclists will find a nice network of bike paths, and the truly hardcore can try the Assault on Mt. Mitchell, a notoriously difficult challenge that requires cycling from downtown Spartanburg along the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the summit of Mt. Mitchell, for a total vertical ascent of more than 10,000 feet.

In Spartanburg, our 27-year-old driver got car insurance quotes ranging from $210 to $233 per month.

1. Florence, SC

Florence, S.C. is… well, it’s trying. While its violent crime rate remains high, Florence is trying to remake itself as an attractive city. Millions have been poured into its revitalization, resulting in a huge, beautiful and modern library and a livelier downtown. The Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center attracts nationally known acts.

Other perks of living in Florence: the beach is just an hour away, I-95 is right there, and oh yeah! It’s one of the most affordable places to live in South Carolina.

Despite the low cost of living in Florence, however, car insurance can be expensive. Our sample driver’s car insurance quotes ranged from $226 to $233 per month (paid up front). That’s the highest minimum quote of all the cities we looked at.

You might get a better deal, of course! The only way to find out is to take a minute and get your own free, personalized quotes for SC car insurance on Compare.com.

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